John and Pat Smallman


John and Pat Smallman


Former TravelPod Member: dwlp.travelkids

Joined: April 21st, 2012

From: lives in United States
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North America » United States » Tennessee » Mount Juliet October 10th 2018

Note from yesterday: after going out for supper yesterday evening, my step total was 14,925...and that was with riding the Tube as much as we did. Of course, we have discovered to our horror that riding the Tube, by definition, means walking up and down TONS of steps! Well, it all had to end after all. We had a trip of a lifetime for sure. Our planned and scheduled trip with CIE was more than we had hoped for. The trip was well planned, and all the folks that we traveled with on the tour were very congenial, and very punctual which is always a plus. Our extra days on our own were very special too. I think we have gotten a good feel for England—it’s ancient sites right up to its newest architecture. We have ... read more
John waiting for our meal
Building we saw on our walk last night
Victoria Station after dark

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Victoria October 9th 2018

We did sleep in a little this morning...and really needed it! We woke to a gorgeous, clear, cool, blue skied morning. How blessed we have been on the weather here. A little rain the first half day of our tour in Windsor and a rainy afternoon last Saturday here in London...perfect all the rest of the time. If my new English friend Mike Fossey provided that great weather, I wish him a great big Thank You! We were on a mission today to clock off the rest of our “want to do” list. We had a good breakfast here at the hotel and were then off to the races. Today was the day for our great adventure of navigating the perils of the Underground so off we went to the Victoria Underground Station. We bought a ... read more
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Gate at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Victoria October 8th 2018

NOTES FROM YESTERDAY: My final step count was 15,865. Yay me...blessings on my feet! Also there was a comment made on the blog yesterday that I thought more of you might be interested in concerning bathroom facilities when you are out and about: Every bathroom here, in the older buildings especially, are ALWAYS upstairs or downstairs using winding steps like they have in the turrets of castles. Maybe because you can fight those trying to jump the line with your nonexistent sword? THEN the stall is so small you have to be a contortionist to navigate the process! It’s all fun! We are always thankful just to have found one however. As a side note to a couple of my dear sisters in law (and you know who you are!) the toilet paper here for the ... read more
View from our new room
Long distance information please...
Church along our walk today

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Victoria October 7th 2018

This was a VERY busy day involving LOTS of walking (14,656 steps so far!) so I will show the day more with pictures than with words. Suffice it to say that we saw new buildings, old buildings, ancient buildings, The Tower of London again, the Thames via boat, statues, palaces, bridges, monuments, The Eye (and no, Kim, we did not ride it today), the outside of Winchester Abbey (not open for tours on Sunday...may go tomorrow), Pubs which we discovered make good potty breaks here like McDonald’s at home, fancy gates, Buckingham Palace, Cleopatra’s obelisk, a HUGE protest in front of the Brazilian Embass (several hundreds at least), views across bodies of water, and two police who (at two separate times) helped us find our way back to our hotel! WHEW! It exhausts me just writing ... read more
Church we saw on our walk last night
Baby Ben—Big Ben is under repair for the next few years
Lion monument along our bus ride today

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Victoria October 6th 2018

Note from last night: After we got our luggage delivered and got our room organized we realized that we needed to get a little something to eat, but didn’t want very much. (We are going to have to have a “come to Jesus” meeting about food when we get home. Just Saying...) Now for a heartfelt Mea Culpa and apology to my dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Frank and Zola. I gave them all kinds of heck last year because they ate at a Burger King a time or two on our trip to Ireland. (This is so hard to say...) it was recommended that we walk directly across the street from our hotel into Victoria Station for several choices for a quick meal. Yes I did say DIRECTLY across the street and how cool is that? ... read more
Victoria Station view
From yesterday’s rest stop
I was holding BOTH of them. I promise.

Europe » United Kingdom October 5th 2018

Heading out on coach at 8:01 towards the M1, which we will be on most of the day. The M1 is the longest motorway in England.This will be a long driving day. Had a great visit to Stratford-on-Avon. Saw Shakespeare’s birth house, many black and white half timbered houses, a darling town, and Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried with his family. Below is info from internet on Stratford-upon-Avon: “Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands, is the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare. Possibly the most famous writer in the English language, Shakespeare is known for his sonnets and plays such as 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Hamlet'. The Royal Shakespeare Company performs his plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and adjacent Swan Theatre on the banks of the River Avon.” Drove through The Cotswalds ... read more
Shakespeare’s birth home
Pat at Shakespeare’s birth home
Shakespeare’s birth home

Europe » United Kingdom » England » North Yorkshire » York October 4th 2018

I have an observation from a comment from yesterday that I thought some more of you might be interested in: “I suspect we will see several Cathedrals in London and I am looking forward to it. So far, they have all been spectacular in their own ways. York Minster is different from any of the others we have seen because of the stone it is built in. I think our bus guide said it was Yorkshire stone but wouldn’t swear to that. At any rate, the color of the stones is a light, creamy color—not stained at all which, to me, makes it look like that huge edifice could almost float up into the air. It really is an amazing building.” Goathland train station, where Harry Potter was filmed, was our first stop today. We rode ... read more
Swalford Sheep
Info on Goathland Station
Goathland Station

Europe » United Kingdom October 3rd 2018

We pulled out at 8:00 on the dot, heading south towards the Scottish /English Border and missing the 12 folks who ended their part of the tour yesterday. Our first stop was at Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford. The architecture was a big looked like a palace and the tour we took was excellent. Abbotsford is a historic country house in the Scottish Borders, near Melrose, on the south bank of the River Tweed. It was formerly the residence of historical novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott. It is a Category A Li... read more
Penelope Ann on the way!
Canal next to where we had supper yesterday
Bridge Inn at Ratho

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian October 2nd 2018

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Laura and Kim! Your Dad and I are sending you our love and hugs from Scotland! We hope you both have a wonderful day. Note to questions from yesterday that others may have wondered about: The “squiggly” lines on the street in one of the pictures yesterday means “don’t even THINK about stopping here!” They are usually there in relationship to a cross walk. Also, if some of you saw the lines of numbers on that particular picture before I corrected it with a caption, that just means I missed changing the number put on that particular shot by the camera to a title. I have since corrected that if you didn’t see it. I may have done (or not done) the same in other pictures in this blog, and a ... read more
The River Tay
Poly Tumnels to grow crops
History of Glamis Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 1st 2018

Note on a question about marrying in a blacksmith shop from yesterday: It was the law in Scotland that anyone could marry you if you stated you wanted to marry. Actually, you could even be “handfasted” by just reciting vows stating your intention. That was not the case in England. Thus the dash to the border by those who, for whatever reason such as parental disagreement, “ran for the border” to get married. The Blacksmith Shop was the first building on the border. Those to get married shared their vows from opposite sides of that anvil if the blacksmith shop was where you exchanged your vows. Another little tidbit we got was the fact that depending on where you said your vows, either outside or in a room in the house...THAT was the place you had ... read more
We are on top floor in this newer area of hotel
Back lawn view at our hotel
Front entrance to Norton House Hotel

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